Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Out Here

Chicago, Illinois, USA

July 11, 2011

This essay, Out Here, is the third in the seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend:
  1. Meetings With A Remarkable Man
  2. Being Directed By The Unanswered Question
  3. Out Here
in that order.
The first trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Second First Impression
  2. Do Artists Retire?
  3. Presence Of Love
in that order.
The second trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Black Brick
  2. Wet Water
  3. On Saying Nothing
in that order.
The third trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Master Of Life
  2. Face To Face
  3. Love And Kindness
in that order.
The fourth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Personal Piece
  2. Magnum Opus
  3. Walk A Way With Me
in that order.
The fifth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Natural Expression
  2. Essential Question
  3. There Is No "The Answers"
in that order.
The sixth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Sophisticated Palate
  2. Open To Everyone
  3. Portal
in that order.
The eighth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Read To Us
  2. Seven Fingers
  3. Smart People
in that order.
The ninth trilogy Visits With A Friend is:
  1. Intimacy In A Crowded Place
  2. What Goes On Internally
  3. Riding The Horse Revisited
in that order.
The seventh trilogy Visits With A Friend is the sequel to Flying.

It is also the prequel to Who Said That? Who Really  Said That?.

This essay, Out Here, is the companion piece to
  1. Already Here
  2. Here And There
  3. Living Where Life Is
in that order.

It is also the first in a group of fourteen written Out-Here:
  1. Out Here
  2. Out Here II: Out-Here
  3. Out-Here III
  4. Transforming Life Itself: A Completely Started Inquiry
  5. Being And Acting Out-Here: Presence Of Self Revisited
  6. Hiking In A Painting
  7. Out-Here IV: Clearing For Life
  8. Something Bigger Than Oneself II
  9. To A Fault
  10. Where The Action Is
  11. Step Outside Your Head: A Call To Action
  12. More Than Being With The World
  13. It's Never Over There
  14. Life Is What's Happening
in that order.

Being out here  is a component of mastery. Mastery is a component of his current new work.

When I first heard it spoken I heard "being out there". It's not. It's "being out here". For a brief moment I was tempted to explain the difference. Instead I'd like to defer to the power of language to convey the distinction directly through experience  rather than intellectually through explanation. It's something to stand in. It's something to try on for size. Stand in the possibility of being out there. Then stand in the possibility of being out here. You'll get it - it's patently getable. The distinction is profound, dramatic, moving, and awesome.

Anything he creates, he creates coming from his own experience of who he really is, which is to say from his own experience of who we really are. Although more and more ideas about the functioning of the brain emanating from the fields of neuro-science and neuro-physiology are finding a place in his current expositions, they're there not to explain  who we are and how we are. They're there to support his experience  of who we are and how we are.

The best way I know to get current with his new work on being out here would be to attend an exposition. I'm not going to provide this here. I'm not qualified. Rather, what I'd like to do instead is share my experience of him being out here. It's in sharing my experience of him being out here  which gives me my experience of being out here  - or not, as the case may be. It's my intention this will give you your experience of being out here.

Reality Out Here

I ask him how he creates. He says he "stands in front of an unanswered question". They're exactly the words he uses. I go around in a few circles asking myself "How do I stand in front  of an unanswered question? ...". At first I imagine the question is literally behind  me, so I'm therefore standing in front of  it. I say it to him this way. He says that's not it. He says standing in front of an unanswered question is standing in front of it face to face. He says when he stands in front of an unanswered question this way face to face, he stands with no baggage and with no figuring it out. Instead he says he stands out here  face to face with the unanswered question "until it starts to reveal itself".

Over and over again, I hear myself saying "Until it starts to reveal itself ...". It's an insight beyond the ordinary.

We speak about the razor sharp  way distinctions are brought forth in presentations of his work and how, taken out of context, this manner translates poorly into real life relationships outside of the agreements of presentations of his work. He, however, is able to stand in both  camps. He's able to stand in his work as a presentation - the obvious example of this is when he's presenting it. He's equally able to stand in real life relationships outside of the agreements which govern presentations of his work. And he's totally clear the set of agreements in place governing each are entirely different. Each are subject to a different set of rules.

There's a particular experience I sometimes have when I perceive people are what I call disapproving  of me. An extension of this is my experience people are disappointed  in me. I share I'm clear about what I've chosen in Life, so I'm not concerned if what I do gets approval or agreement. And yet I admit when I'm disapproved of, or when people are disappointed in me (which is to say when I interpret  I'm disapproved of, or when people are disappointed in me) ... well ... for want of a better word, it sucks. It doesn't stop me doing what I do. It's just that when I do what I do in here, there's a background of it sucks  not being approved of, or having people disappointed in me.

He, on the other hand, isn't in here. He's out  here. He suggests having it suck when I'm disapproved of, or when people are disappointed in me, carries with it about as much power as having it suck "when it's raining". He says (quote unquote) "You don't ask 'Why me?'  when it's raining.". What he says impacts my way of looking at this, so hard I simply stop talking and reflect on his view. Out here. It's worth a million dollars ... and more.

I ask something I've been wanting to ask for quite a while now. It's been on my list over the past few visits, and now finally it's up to be asked. There are people who once were titans  of his work, people who not only got it  but who got it so deeply and so clearly and so profoundly they were able to share it in such a way that other people got it deeply and clearly and profoundly.

If there's a sign (and I'm not saying there's a sign, but if  there's a sign) someone's got it, it's out of their sharing, other people get it too. So how is it some people who once got it now say they don't got it any more? Some are even saying now they never got it the first place. I'm always incredulous when I hear something like this. How can you ever not  have it any more, if you once got it? And what I realize is I'm looking at getting it - the Big "IT" - as a condition  kind of like a tattoo  which once you get you've always got.

He doesn't see it my way. He's being out here. I'm being in here. He simply says "Some people stop climbing.". His analogy of climbing really works for me. Being transformed isn't a matter of getting a tattoo ie once you get it, you've always got it. Rather it's a matter of climbing a mountain: once you stop climbing, you're no longer climbing.

And then, just as I'm getting deeply buried again in my next question, he remarks how beautiful the surroundings we're in, are. And I hadn't even noticed! He's out here. I appreciate the reminder - more than my words can ever say.

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